Oct 1, 2012 5:30pm PDT
. >> reporter: even a strong debate performance by john kerry wasn't enough to defeat george w. bush, but debates matter because it's the first chance to size up the candidates in unscripted moments one-on-one. brian? >> andrea mitchell, who by the way will be our fact checker during our live coverage of the debate wednesday night here on nbc. andrea, thanks. >>> more american deaths today in afghanistan. and the rising death toll numbers will bring more question about the mission in a very unsteady region. tonight we have special coverage of that region, many believe is at the brink, with americans there in harm's way. we have three reports this evening from ann curry, richard engel, and lester holt. we'll begin with lester in kabul in afghanistan. lester, good evening. >> brian, good evening to you. three americans, nearly a dozen others, killed in a suicide bomb attack in the eastern province of khost. for some time now military officials have been saying the taliban have been weakened and are avoiding direct conflict. still they are finding new and effective ways to strike. the t
Oct 8, 2012 12:00am PDT
. >> like when democrats called george w. bush stupid either. you can't be stupid and get this job. >> it's a lazy argument. chris: for mitt romney, he tries to overcome the stiffness in the debate. maybe his team played this for him hours before. >> governor, if kitty dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer? >> no, i don't, bernard, and i think you know i opposed the death penalty during all of my life. i don't see any evidence it's a deterrent and i think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime. chris: speaking of time travel, andrea, you were sitting on the panel that year, that very year. jim lehrer's book on the debate includes the panelists, including you discussed bernie's question in the greenroom and there was concern among your group about asking that question. what was the feeling then? >> the feeling was, you saw three women, ann compton, margaret warner, myself and bernie. bernie had one question to ask as the moderator and we each got two and the format was tight and controlled and had a feeling
Oct 3, 2012 5:00pm PDT
image at this point and one of them lost, george h.w. bush. and romney needs to improve that dynamic. >> reporter: romney got good news from three battlegrounds. in florida he is now behind by just one point. still way down in ohio. but in virginia, romney is down by just two. with a lot on the line in past debates, romney is doing well. >> going up against mitt romney is not a fun thing. he has the fax. he drills you. he stays. he is tenacious. >> reporter: and sometimes aggressive. >> the idea that i'm anti-immigrant is repulsive. don't use a term like that. >> reporter: aides admit barack obama in debates can sound like a professorial no-it-all. >> i understand the broader point that senator clinton has been trying to make over the last several weeks. >> reporter: tonight's format is from 2008. two podiums, moderator jim lehrer, 90 minutes, no breaks. a back and forth on domestic issues with possible fireworks. >> i think you're going to see both of them actually be more aggressive than either of their campaigns have predicted because the stakes are pretty high. >> reporter: the c
Oct 6, 2012 5:00am PDT
in the second debate, they could get on a roll in the same way george w. bush did against al gore in 2000. >> governor romney seemed to be pro-regulation. he said he was against cutting taxes for the wealthy in this debate. some see this as a bit of a transformation, a move to the middle a month before the election. is that what's happening here and might it benefit him going forward? >> well, i think it will benefit him, lester. i don't think it's a move toward policy. it is in tone. a lot of people have wondered why mitt romney have not projected that tone earlier. what he was trying to say to americans is i share the values behind the impulse to regulate, to expand health care, to expand education, but i want to do it in a different way and here's why my way is better. that's an effective style of argumentation. that's what he showed. it's going to be up to the president if he can rebut it to do so in the next debate. he didn't do it in the first debate. >> we've got a couple more ahead. john harwood, thanks very much. >> you bet. >> let's get a check of this morning's other headlines.